With the pandemic feeling like an oppressive weather system we just can’t shake, with NSW recording a record 136 new cases today and with premier Gladys Berejiklian now saying restrictions could continue until October, this week has seen Australians hit with bad news after bad news.

If you’d like to end your Friday on a positive though, we have some happier vibes to dispatch: Andy Allen – chef, Masterchef judge and c-owner of Three Blue Ducks – is hosting a free, live, cooking masterclass tomorrow at 2pm, which promises to show you how to cook fried chicken like a pro.

Just tune into Andy’s (@andyallencooks) Instagram Live at 2pm AEST on Saturday to join.

Andy announced the news on Wednesday, writing: “Let’s lift the lockdown vibes this weekend with a good old INSTA LIVE fried chicken cook-along. Grab your ingredients, a beer or a wine and jump on this Saturday at 2pm AEST.”

He made it inclusive for non-meat-eaters too: “Vegos and vegans you’re welcome too – swap the chicken for cauliflower and the buttermilk for nut milk and a squeeze of lemon.”

“Australia I know we’re doing it tough at the moment, but trust me, nothing puts a smile on your dial more than FRIED CHICKEN!”

He then provides a full list of ingredients you’ll need if you want to join:

Ingredients

  • 1kg chicken wings
  • 2L frying oil (rice bran, vegetable or sunflower)
  • Your favourite hot sauce!

Marinade

  • 1L buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cooking salt

Flour mix

  • 100g rice flour
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cooking salt

Smoked paprika salt

  • 3 tbsp salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

From “Stop it and get in and around my mouth” to “This looks fabulous… not going anywhere so will tune in and make some yummy chicken!” many of Andy’s followers said they would be tuning in for sure.

DMARGE asked Andy what sparked the idea.

Andy, who is based in Melbourne, said: “With NSW, VIC and SA in lockdown, I felt there were probably a few people out there that needed a bit of a boost. Is there a better way than cooking your own crispy, salty, lip smacking batch of fried chicken?”

He also said that it’s designed for everyone to have a go at – you don’t need to be an experienced cook to join. That said: there a few things you’ll want to nail if you want to nail it.

“Look the recipe is pretty simple. There are only a few ingredients in it, so for me it comes down to the fry on the chicken. It needs to be cooked through perfectly, super crispy and golden brown all at the right time!”

He added that he hoped it would give Australians something fun to do in lockdown.

“Yeah I think Aussies in general like to stay busy and that includes lockdown. If you’re not working from home, there’s only so many books you can read in LD before you go mad.”

Finally, he told us, for him, cooking is a form of meditation: “It’s not uncommon for me to spend the whole weekend pottering around the kitchen. It passes time, relaxes me and more often than not, we eat epic food.”

Andy also recently teamed up with @tanaka_coffee_melbourne to help feed vulnerable members of the community.

Hats off. This is the kind of community pulling together behaviour we love to see.

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